Dirae Erinyes has made a beeline for the port, as Evensong carefully places their wrapped parcel with the other presents.
“Marriages always make me both melancholy and joyful at the same time,” Dirae Erinyes complains. “Though I am surprised there wasn’t any major upsets with the acrobats, or bohemians interrupting the illiad.”
“Or you know, the thing with the weasels,” Evensong adds in.
“Oh, yes. Weasels.”
Dirae Erinyes has made a beeline for the port, as Evensong carefully places their wrapped parcel with the other presents.
Many wishes on your happiest day, dear friends. Are you sure Homer is the poet for the ocassion? His verses are a little murdery.
He sits drinking in the corner, unrecognized. He does not think anyone will recognize him: the only time he ever met one of the betrothed was on one of the groom’s more wild expeditions, and he merely boarded for a while, acted mad and then vanished. Exactly as planned. He obtained what he needed from Drake on that trip for his plan to continue.
But today he is not here for plans or theft or dark designs. Today he is merely here to wish the happy couple a lifetime of love and happiness. He downs his drink to their health and walks out unnoticed.
edited by Kylestien on 10/2/2018
I would think Shakespear or Edgar Allen Poe would be more fitting as the Poet truly, for they also have bloody poems which are a bit more modern.
The wine here is absolutely marvelous, especially with a teaspoon of honey added to it. It’s from an excellent year!
edited by Honeyaddict on 10/2/2018
"I always look human - as much as you do," Evensong pointly protests.
Though any offense at Drake’s remark is interrupted by Dirae Erinyes moving in for a bear hug. "I’m so glad you’re finally settled down with someone!" Drake might need a sip of cider after Dirae Erinyes finishes their hug. "Ah, young love. . .Oh, as for my state - I’ve had worse. Never invite a spider council for tea."
GregM staggers in. This will be his second extravagant wedding as an attendee. His own, to Nyxy, to take place in the Bazaar, is almost fully funded. But not quite. He has some sense of what Drake has gone through. The Personal Recommendations. The Comprehensive Bribes. The rats. SO many rats.
He has brought a gift for the couple. Something from the Nadir! But he cannot remember what it is.
GregM needs a drink. He helps himself to a glass of mushroom champagne. Delicious. Bravo, Drake. You made it. You SURVIVED.
“No, you can’t make a toast right now. Wait your turn. Try some canapés.” Vela steers Gideon away from the podium towards a grand table crammed with triangle-cut sandwiches and nibbles for all palates.
“If you insist, dearest. But know that the cause of Science cannot be postponed indefinitely!”
To his credit, Gideon refrains from laughing maniacally. He snatches an entire plate of delicacies and nibbles on them, making a beeline for the groom like a locomotive with no brakes.
“Drake! So good to see you. What do you think of my new collapsible top hat? The compartment within is most useful for concealing all manner of trickery. Behold, a bird made entirely of confetti!” Vela elbows him in the ribs. “Oof!”
“I believe what my husband meant to say was ‘Congratulations’,” says Vela pointedly.
“Yes, indeed!” says Gideon. “Congratulations, felicitations and jubilations! Before you know it, it’ll be like you and the lovely Lallinka have been together for fifty years. Ouch. Unhand me, woman! The fifty years will fly by, of course.”
The Scorched Sailor is wearing his best clothes. All of them, at once. Having put a great deal of thought into selecting, for example, his best pair of trousers, and best shirt, and best gloves and overcoat, he appears to have put very little thought into whether any individual item of clothing matches, or indeed has anything in common with, any of the others. The effect is somewhat harlequinesque, and the fashions at least ten years out of date, but it is clear an effort has been made.
The party is typical of his friend Drake, which is to say, its excess makes the Sailor faintly uncomfortable, but as he lopes slowly around the periphery of the festivities he notices a number of familiar and friendly faces. It is at once pleasant and strange to see so many of the people who he had bonded with in squalor and strife, at the harsh hands of the open zee or trudging through London in pursuit of a killer, dressed so finely and being so merry. The new couple are making the rounds, glowing in the well-earned congratulations of the attendees, and the pair do, the Sailor thinks, look good together. Look happy.
Ditching a half-empty glass of port on the sideboard (somehow even at this lavish event, the port is awful), he takes up a position on the edge of the merriment - close enough to join in should the mood strike him, and not far enough away to appear antisocial - and basks in the social warmth of the party in a way he has not done for a long while. He will see the happy couple when the hubbub has died down, and give them their gift, but for now, it is enough to relax in the company of friends.
edited by Barse on 10/3/2018
Near a table loaded with exquisitely presented canapes, a bearded and lavishly dressed foreigner has managed to corner a small group of bewildered attendees and is enthusiastically regaling them with the tedious details of a recent trip to Polythreme. Snatches of the thickly-accented conversation can be heard over the susurration of voices in the room.
"… right at mine eyes… sought it vaz sorrow spider… a glove, of all sings… how marvelous!" He gesticulates wildly with his bejeweled cane and almost brains a nearby server who, exhibiting a certain mastery of his craft, deftly steps under the swing and refills the man’s emptied glass in one fluid motion.
Though unknown to the newlyweds, he had nevertheless managed to use his high society connections to leverage an invite and plans to make the most of it. As such, as soon as he catches sight of the groom he abruptly heads in his direction. Too relieved to care about the impropriety, his victims take that opportunity to make a hasty exit.
"Herr Dynamo, such a pleasure it is, ja!" he exclaims as he expertly blocks Drake’s path, his gleaming teeth bared in a broad smile, "Herzliche glückwünsche to zee new couple… but vere are mine manners? Count Gerhardt von Scanhorst, at your service," he says, removing his elegant top hat with one white-gloved hand and performing an exaggerated bow, "Permanent attaché to zee German ambassadorial contingent here in London, und occasional author… perhaps you have seen some of mine verk?"
Although throughout the room wine flowed liberally into the glasses of the celebrating guests, at one particular table the wine flowed quite noticeably. One of the occupants at the table, a gentleman dressed in splendid and exquisite apparel laughed heartily at one of the jokes his table-mate had made. The gentleman’s golden eyed companion gave the joke teller a well practiced smile before returning their eyes hungrily towards the plethora of guests throughout the room. The gentleman finishes his glass of wine.
"Such excellent wit," the Lord Gazter announces to the rest of the table. "It is evidently apparent that your wit might even surpass my own," he adds with another chuckle. Lord Gazter turns to look over at at his golden eyed companion. "My dear friend could you perchance ask one of the servants to gather a few comestibles for us," he asks with a knowing smile before returning his attention towards his now empty glass.
A server seeing the empty glass in Lord Gazter’s hand hastily rushes over to correct the error. With a now refilled glass Lord Gazter returns to the conversation at hand, while his companion silently leaves the table with a sparkle in their eye. They snake their way across the room towards the other unsuspecting wedding guests.
edited by Lord Gazter on 10/4/2018
"Ah dear friend I must congratulate you on your marriage to the lovely Lady Lallinka," Lord Gazter responds turning to look at Drake with a wide grin, "And commend you on the magnificence and grandeur of this extraordinary marriage ceremony. Not a single want or frivolity has been forgotten or been untended to," Lord Gazter says with a amiable chuckle. "And to answer your question, I have been doing exceptionally well, dear friend."
The other guest at the table, an older, portly gentleman, rises from the table, while informing the other two of his need to speak with another of the party’s guests with a dull and uninterested look on his face. As the older gentleman walks away Lord Gazter turns back to Drake.
"About that Shade business," Lord Gazter continues as he adjusts his spectacles, "Think nothing of it dear friend. I’m sure that you being the moral and upstanding gentleman will do the same for me if ever I required assistance from yourself. I’m sure that you would never even dream of forgetting a friend in need. Such is the undeniable quality of your character," he adds with a smile.
edited by Lord Gazter on 10/11/2018
At the hors d’oeuvres table there stands a stiff-backed young man, black hair neatly combed, bedecked in the crisp, ironed garb of the Admiralty. He eats cheese kebabs and occasionally refills his wine when no one is looking. Every now and then, an intrigued socialite approaches him and he hastily returns the kebabs to their platter and, if he is in the middle of pouring a drink, informs the socialite he is doing it for a friend.
His name is Thomas Sketch. Sir Thomas Sketch, by word of the Crown, and he is immensely uncomfortable but the selection of cheeses is quite nice and the wine is better than any he’s likely to get down at the Docks (he still can not bring himself to attend nice restaurants of his own accord - when his name is present on a list it is there by his superiors’ hand) so he continues to smile neatly and shake hands as the wedding goes on. He knows very little about the two stars - Dynamo and Lallinka - other than the former’s presence on the same ship his mad old father was on whenever he disappeared. However, tales of serial killers typically sour the romantic mood, so Thomas sticks to the edges of the room, avoiding the happy groom whenever Dynamo gets close. As of the current moment, the bluejacket has been unintentionally chased from the cheeses three times by the scientist. He always makes his way back, though. Nothing holds Sir Thomas Sketch back from a good platter of cheese.
Florence has been simply swamped lately. After a professor in her department at the University fell face first into a vat of acid, she took on his former duties in addition to her own (after clearing her name, of course). While her work is fulfilling, she’s had barely any social life.
She wouldn’t miss the marriage of her friend Drake for all the world, though, and she’s glad to be here. Dressed in her very finest, Florence cheerfully mingles with the other guests.
The Sailor clasps his friend’s hand and hopes that he can see the mirth in his eyes. “She hasn’t sunk yet, so the goin’ is good! I, uh…” He sniffs, considering what it is he’s trying to say, and pulls a scarf (handsomely brocaded, this one, after the red-and-gold fashions of the Iremi riddlefishers. It clashes terribly with his jacket) down so that the pair can look at each other square. “Congratulations, sincerely. It does my heart good to see you happy.” He has never been one for speeches. That will have to do. “Jus’ a second, I’ve got somethin’ for you.”
He ducks around a corner to retrieve an ovoid wooden panel propped against a wall, about an arm’s-length long and half as tall, and, turning it over, presents it to Drake. The surface is slightly warped and varnished to a sheen, and across its surface a diorama is picked out in careful grooves and burns. The carvings are simplistic – a kind critic might say stylised – but meticulous, and despite their atavism the contents are clear. In the centre stand depictions of the married couple, Drake with a ceremonial scimitar at his belt, and Lallinka resplendent in a flowing gown, sheltered by an intricate bower of engraved vines and chiselled trees. Feathery v-shapes graven above their heads populate their arbour with birds, and in the background there is a faint suggestion of something huge and bright - a sun, or maybe a mountain-top. It’s not exactly elegant, but there is something in the primitivism that suggests a deep care.
“I learned a little at Scrimshander,” he offers by way of explanation, “and took the wood from the panelling in your old cabin. The old girl has enough holes; she can cope with one more.” He cannot quite gauge the look on his friend’s face. “A future to steer by, perhaps.”
edited by Barse on 10/11/2018
It is, of course, in moments of melancholy when one being chased is always finally caught.
Thomas Sketch is still standing in one of the many corners of the room, half-submerged in a group of chatting politicians he is not entirely paying attention to, gazing over their shoulders at the strange, nigh-inhuman figure of the Scorched Sailor.
A fellow zeeman. The closest thing he could likely find to someone he would have something in common with in a place like this - he’s heard the Sailor’s name about the Docks before, and of course knows him as the captain of the ship his father disappeared on. He longs to go over and talk to the strange character, not even for answers considering his father’s final journey, only to have a fellow zailor to talk to. But of course, the Sailor is a true zailor. A name with weight at the Docks, with his own independent ship and his own many, many scars telling the stories of his many, many journeys. Sir Thomas Sketch, trim-cut, clean-shaven public representative of the Admiralty, has no place with true zailors - though they all know of him, the real adventurers of the Zee bear no respect for the Navy’s poster boy, and he is well aware of this. To politicians, he is a zailor, to zailors, he is a politician. Such is the lonely position of one representing the most useless, tradition-based institution in modern England.
It is as the knight is standing there morosely considering his confusing, bureaucratic spot in life that Drake Dynamo finally catches hold of him.